Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Referees

Who are the RYSC’s referee officials, and how do I reach them?   The league has a Director of Referees and an Referee Assignor for each age group.  The select program has a separate assignor.  A names and contact information for RYSC’s important referee personnel will be provided on a separate sheet. 

Does my appearance matter?  Absolutely.  If you look like a professional, you will be treated like a professional.  Wear your full uniform, with your badge displayed and your jersey tucked in. What equipment should I bring to the field?  Several pens, a coin, flags, watch, whistle and water.  A towel, athletic tape, sunscreen and food are also a good idea. 

What should I be doing before the match?  Arrive 30 minutes early in full uniform.   Check the condition of the field and the goals.  If problems with the field cannot be corrected, mark the hazard with a cone or towel.  The nets should be securely fastened to the posts.  If there are gaps big enough for a ball to pass through, use your athletic tape to close the gaps.  Check player and coach passes. 

What equipment should I check on the players?  At player check-in, you should inspect cleats and shin guards.  No jewelry may be worn (unless it is a medical alert or religious item – and then only if it is not dangerous).  Shin guards must be worn under the socks and should be appropriately sized for the player.  Instruct the players to tuck in their jerseys.   

What can I do to start games on time?  Do not allow the parents or coaches to delay the start of a match.  If you are waiting for a previous match to end, find the coaches for the next match and make sure they are ready to go – game cards should be ready and players should be ready for equipment check.  Have the coaches warm their teams up on the side so they’re ready to go as soon as the previous game ends. 

How do I handle red cards?  After the match, you must collect the offending player’s and/or the offending coach’s passes and return them to the Director of Referees with a fully completed Send Off Report and the game card.  If there is an assistant referee that can corroborate your version of the events leading up to the red card, they should sign the Send Off Report, too.  The Send Off Report, game card and passes MUST be provided to the Director of Referees as set forth previously. 

How do I handle unruly coach (or fan) behavior?
When you sense that truly unruly behavior is occurring, first tell the coach that he or she needs to correct their behavior (or have the coach speak to the fan). This message could occur “on the run” or during a stoppage in play. That will usually correct most poor behavior. If the behavior persists, you could give the coach a second request to correct the coach’s or the fan’s unruly behavior. If the coach continues (or is not able to stop the fan’s unruly behavior), stop the game and give the coach or the fan an official warning (like a caution). Record the coach’s or the fan’s name on the game card, the time of the incident, along with the words “for irresponsible behavior” and a brief description of the unruly behavior. [Do not show a card to a coach or the fan. Per the “Advice”, the coach or the fan must be verbally ‘warned’]. If that warning fails to calm the situation, the coach or the fan will have to be ‘dismissed’ (like a send-off).  Again, record the key information on the game card. If you have to dismiss one or more sideline personnel, remember that you have to fill out a CYSA send-off report on each individual. The “dismissed” person must leave the area of the field.   

Are the coaches restricted to the coaching area?  Yes.  They must stay within 10 yards of the center line.  If parents are observed coaching, tell the coach that they must stop coaching or move to the coaching area. 

What are the PYSL Modified Rules?  The PYSL had adopted several rules that adapt the FIFA rules for the various age groups (field size, ball size, length of match, etc.).  A list of the PYSL Modified Rules is provided with this material and it is available on the league’s website. 

What do I do in case of bad weather?  If the weather is poor, check the website or call 916-786-NETS.  If there are no announcements posted, please show up to your assigned games.

 Tips/Reminders For Our Referees 

  • When you blow your whistle, blow it LOUD. 
  • Use the correct hand-signals to indicate direct or indirect penalties. 
  • If you see a foul but decide that the fouled player gained the advantage, shout “advantage” or use a hand-signal to play on (let everyone know you saw it).
  • Good foul/non-foul recognition will enhance your reputation as a referee.
  • Control the first five minutes and the last five minutes of the each half and you will find few problems. 
  • Be firm but friendly.
  • Remember what age group you are officiating, and whether it is select or recreational, and adjust accordingly.
  • Stay up with the play – remember to stay in position to make the call.
  • Remember that we have a modified offside rule for U-8s.  If they are approximately 6 yards or more offside and the guilty player participates, award the other team an indirect free kick from the offside infraction.
  • When refereeing for the younger age groups, sometimes a brief explanation of an infraction is important.
  • Protect the goalie.  The goalie has possession of the ball if they are holding the ball in their hands or arms, dribbling the ball (like a basketball) or juggling the ball in the air near them, or if the ball is pinned to the ground with one or more fingers.  If the goalie has possession under any of these criteria, the attacking player cannot attempt to kick the ball.
  • A goalie may not pick up a ball that was deliberately KICKED to the goalie and the goalie may not receive a throw-in from a teammate with their hands.  In each of these circumstances, the goalie must use their feet to handle the ball.